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Is Social Media Burnout Something to Plan for?

I read a very interesting post today by Alex Bowyer titled “The November Project: Observations from a month away from Facebook and Twitter” in which he provides his findings from not visiting Facebook and Twitter for an entire month!

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I read a very interesting post today by Alex Bowyer from a while back titled “The November Project: Observations from a month away from Facebook and Twitter” in which he reflects on his forced time out from Facebook and Twitter for an entire month! Its still relevant even today.

The key observations that really struck a cord with me are firstly Alex’s statement below about how he felt with his forced absence from social networks…

The most amazing thing is I actually feel like time slowed down. That’s a pretty profound thing to say, but when I think back to the beginning of November, it seems like months ago. Previous months seemed to whizz by. I think that, as I theorized beforehand, with fewer inputs, my brain actually was able to quiet down a bit and make me feel more relaxed.

And secondly…

I noticed that I became a lot less “twitchy”. I had developed a habit of every few minutes throughout the day, check Facebook, check Twitter, check email… and repeat. This is a surefire way to destroy any focus you have on work or other activities.

Its not hard to feel that most people will, after the initial excitement, have an internal ongoing conflict between feeling compelled to remain constantly socially connected, including the need to be almost instantly responsive with their social networks, with the increasing desire to reclaim their life and concentration back.

How does this relate to business?

Well I see the need for businesses to really focus on defining set rules of engagement with their social networks that includes set timeframes to access their profiles and engage with their community. If not, a business may actually run the risk of burnout and excessive overuse of their most precious resource – their time.

Using our own social media solutions for business (CampaignHub) we have already reduced the risk and effort for our clients to utilize social networks but I think there is still more work to be done around the constant development of our own social networks to provide even more value to our clients by leveraging off our time and investment not theirs.

Its important to take the evangelistic preaching of social media “experts” with a grain of salt. They are excited about social media because its new and shiny but it will be the businesses that have to really put in the effort to make this new channel work for them and ultimately help feed the pipeline.

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